1/22/09 - Opening Statement

I thought it would be helpful to give a little background on my situation before getting into the details of my day to day experience with the surgery.

I was diagnosed with Keratoconus (my next entry will deal with the explanation of the disease and some resources for finding out more about the disease) in both eyes my senior year in high school in 1995 by Dr. Vivian Rosenthal in Boca Ration, FL.

At first, I did not notice a material difference from the already generally poor vision that I had from my combination of near-sightedness and stigmatism. Gradually, however, my disease progressed in most of the normal ways that one would consider for Keratoconus as the corneas in both of my eyes became gradually steeper (hopefully, I will be able to get copies of the corneal topographies from my doctor to post). Over the years, the deterioration in my left eye has been more consistent than in my right eye and consequently, I am having the surgery performed on my left eye (at this point it is doing little more for me than depth perception).

I moved from Dr.’s in Florida, whom I saw on trips home from college to Dr.’s in New York City and eventually in Boston, where I now live. As a side note, I have been seeing Dr. Watanabe of the New England Eye in Boston for about 7 years now and he and his team have been absolutely fabulous at fitting me with lenses and holding off the need for my surgery until this point.

Over the years, I started out wearing soft lenses and glasses and then moved to hard RGP (rigid gas permeable) lenses as the curvature of my eye made it necessary (because of the warping of the cornea in Keratoconus, you need to almost create a false surface for your eye). For the past few years, I have been wearing “piggy-back” lenses, which is a soft lens underneath (which almost acts like a bandage) and a hard RGP lens on top to deal with the curvature issues. (Thank god for the new soft lenses that have better wetability as it was a nightmare when my eyes use to dry out!).

As many people who have Keratoconus can attest, although, I have been corrected with lenses, I really don’t see that well, even with my “piggy-back” system. I basically don’t see anything out of my left eye and the correction is really only to give me depth perception. In my “good” right eye, one could claim that I see 20/60 or 20/80 corrected, but it is a very different 20/60/80 than for a normal person, as I see much blurrier and my brain has learned to “interpret” those images. (If you want, it is fun to check out the pictures of how a Keratoconic eye sees in the link in my next post…).

I am scheduled this coming Thursday, January 29th for surgery on my left eye and if all goes well, hopefully, I can have my right eye done after a full and successful recovery on my left eye (usually this would be about a year to a year and a half afterwards).

Wish me luck!

10 comments:

  1. Lots of luck to you, Brent! I will send many good vibes your way on the 29th.

    Please give Caroline and Bradley a hug for me.

    Cheers,
    Adrienne (Caroline's friend from the Boston.com days)

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  2. Brent, wishing you the best - I'll be thinking of you on the 29th. You are in great hands at Mass Eye and Ear!!

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  3. Brent,

    To post something so intimate at all is heroic. To be so optimistic and to offer support in an hour of tribulation is a Divine gift. I am with you.

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  4. Brent, Quick note to thank you for sharing your experience with us. I am also bilateral KC & had left eye transplant 10 years ago & just did right eye on Feb 5 09! Am worried that new cornea is very cloudy (was not bad on day 1), and am taking drops very similar to yours. Will see doc again on Wed. Doc tried to do DALK this time, but was unable, so did full xplant. Am also great believer that nutrition plays a big role in healing from these -- have upped my fish oil after your comments. Best of Luck & Thanks for Blog! jp

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  7. contact dr. brian s. boxer wachler in los angeles. i have kerataconus and am on my third day of recovery from crosslinking in both eyes and intacs in my right eye which was a lot worse than my left eye. this is the miracle cure that people do not know about. my right eye could not see the chart and the next day i read 20/50. this could save your other eye. i know it is probably far away for you but eyes are pretty important. his procedure is patented and is very very effective. he is the only doctor i trusted with my eyes;. please look into it.

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